Ames Free Library

"Where the Community Connects"

Program Updates: Take Apart Table

My hairdryer broke recently. It’s not a big deal; I almost never use it. But now what do I do with it? Well… a few times a year, we run a “take apart table” at the library – a chance for kids to look under the hood, so to speak, of common electronics and devices. We’ve dismantled a computer, a stereo, keyboards, a cell phone, a laminator… and parents have almost as much fun as their kids!

 So consider letting your kids take apart a small broken appliance - like a hair dryer - and see what they can learn about how the parts fit together and what’s inside that makes things work! Chances are you have some old electronics around the house, even something as simple as a lamp, an old computer mouse, or a kitchen appliance that just doesn’t work anymore. Our take apart table consists of nothing more than safety glasses, a variety of screwdrivers, needle-nose pliers, and a hammer, but you can use whatever you have on hand at home.

 Please note that chances are great these items are NOT going back together, so don’t offer up anything in working order or that you might want to get repaired someday! Also, be sure to discard the pieces responsibly (if electronic recycling isn’t an option right now, at least be sure all the tiny screws, wires, and other runaway pieces make it into your garbage can!).

 Happy dismantling!

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